In my soul I feel compelled to write on this topic and pray that it will encourage someone today.
I have no idea why things happen in this life… I cannot say why life can sometimes do a complete 360 in the blink of an eye, but I can say with sureness of heart that all these trials can be good for us if we chose to think beyond the problem. I once heard a saying that went something like “Problems are merely possibilities waiting to be discovered.”
Now this is where the challenge lies! Sometimes it’s so hard not to focus on all the negatives: Why me? Why him/her? What do I do now that I can’t do ____? Who am I if I am not (your career; your spouse’s mate; mother/father; son/daughter; ____ )?
Whatever your challenge, whatever it has changed in your life, or the lives of those close to you…these are the things you need to forget about because there is no place for the pity and depression that comes from focusing on them. Remember that your circumstances and/or trials do not define the person you are…your inner self is who you are, (meaning how you think, how you feel, how you love, what you do with your free time and resources, and so on). Nothing that changes in the world around you has the power to change who you really are unless you let it. And this point bears repeating: Your abilities may even change but you are still you (unique and special and you)!
If your life has changed due to some tragedy the only thing to do is move on… This is the part that takes commitment because it requires that you focus your attention on what you can do and enjoying every part of those things. Be thankful for what you have and persevere through the bumps, mountains and mole hills in this life with dedication and hopefulness. Perhaps the storm you are navigating is temporary, but perhaps things will never be the same again…what then? Do you throw away the rest of your life because mentally you can’t get past the fact that it has changed? (I truly hope not.)
I would also encourage you not to waste your precious time trying to figure out how this problem came to be, (depending on the problem you may most likely never know), and even if you do figure it out it is not going to change the present. Life changes all the time, sometimes for the better and sometimes not, the best we can do is do what we can do and always look for ways to find joy; peace and love.
I can say all these things because I believe them! I have experienced tragedy and personal misfortune and the only thing that has gotten me through all these things is my outlook. Sometimes I fail in my ability to retain peace and hope but never love or faith. My trust in my God keeps me strong and from worrying about all the things that I cannot (and never could control). I get nudges from loved ones when I get on the wrong track and immediately attempt to rectify my thought patterns. Again, I stress the point is that this is not always easy, but it is always worth the effort. (And just as worthy is realizing that I was never really in control of most of the things that I thought I was in control of anyway…the length of mine or anyone’s life; the choices my children make; and many more similar things that cannot be controlled by any person throughout history.) We are what we are and we can only do what we can do – the rest is up to powers beyond our control and there is freedom in letting go of the control we never really had.
I know someone dear to me who is struggling so hard to be the person she used to be that she is overlooking the things she still is (loved; helpful; mother; wife; friend; mobile; creative; faithful; trustworthy, etc.). I don’t know if she will ever be the same as she was, and I am almost positive that she will never hold the same professional positions that she fought so hard to attain in her life, (as she has suffered a form of brain injury during an accident), but I am sure that she can adapt and enjoy the new life she has when she lets go of the past! I do not pretend to know to what extent she will be able to function or if she will ever work again, but she is very hard on herself for all the things she can’t do, often with little regard for the things she can. (With further adjustments and adapting to new ways of doing things, who knows how far she will take this new life and what she will accomplish in it.)
We all seem to struggle to some degree with change because it is unknown, uncomfortable and sometimes scary, but no matter what the issue I/you face, we can get through if we look for reasons to continue. The young mother trying to complete school to better her life and her child’s; the single mother whose husband inexplicably fell out of love; the devoted husband who suddenly lost his wife to disease; the father and provider who lost the security of a job he has had for years due to recent cut backs… none of these things matter as much as finding the reasons to look forward with hope for good things and/or better times and a genuine appreciation for what you still are; can do; and still have!
Because of my most recent health related misfortune I am planning to start a new career, new hobbies and adventures and am excited to be planning them. Something I probably would have never gotten around to if I hadn’t been stopped in my tracks – so there is always a silver lining to every cloud! And I think that at least in my case, this was the point: I needed to stop what I was doing because I wasn’t doing the things that really should have been doing or even the things that were important to me personally. I made excuses for why all those other things (job included) were so much more urgent than even my own family, and kept saying that eventually I would get around to the things that were more meaningful and fulfilling but not what I considered tangible priorities.
Whether or not you have a faith, you might simply be needing to make a life change and everything that’s going wrong might be leading you in that direction until you have no choice but to listen and switch directions. You might consider it coincidence, or just plain unfair, it does not matter… the best advice I can give you is to: live simply, live purposely joyful and I wish you well no matter where you are or what you face this day.
Thank you Father God that Your word confirms “that if You bring me to it, You will see me through it.”